Man and Material Culture
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Inimene ja materiaalne kultuur
Course title in English
Man and Material Culture
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
Overview of possibilities offered by material evidence in defyning human cultures.
Brief description of the course
The course and seminars introduce different possibilities to interpret human societies, based on material culture (e. g. buildings, burials, artefacts), and demonstrates how these interpretations are linked with contemporary paradigms and political situation. Special attention will be paid to the impression of different identities (e.g. ethnic, gender, status, political) as indicated in material culture. The course treats not only periods with predominantly archaeological source material (e. g. prehistory), but also periods with traditionally have been studied with help of written sources. Interdisciplinary approaches embarace archaeology, history and historical cultural anthropology. Lectures concentrate on Estonia, Northern and Baltic countries, but compile widely researches and approaches from other regions of the world.
Independent work
The students work independently with the literature given for the preparation of the seminars by the teacher (uploaded to Moodle). They write an essay on a topic agreed on by the teacher and prepare for the exam, studying the materials given during the course and reading the obligatory literature.
Learning outcomes in the course
Demonstrates expertise in the use of material culture for interpreting human societies, knows how to connect different interpretations with widespread approaches and paradigms.
Describes historical societies in prehistoric and historic Estonia, Northern and Baltic countries, gives examples of different interpretations. Creates syntheses between material evidence, theoretical approaches and written sources describing particular periods.
Possesses overview of different theoretical approaches, defines correlation between material evidence and social, political, as well as environment history.
Assessment methods
Active participation in the discussions during the seminar (~20%)
Written essay about a chosen topic (~30%)
Written exam (50%)
Vanemteadur Marika Mägi
Study literature
Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. 2008. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. Thames and Hudson.
Mägi, M. (ed.) 2003. Eesti aastal 1200. Argo, Tallinn.
Replacement literature
Suur osa kirjandusest on skandinaavia või balti keeltes!
Roesdahl, Else. 2007. Viikingite maailm: viikingid kodu- ja välismaal. Taani keelest tõlkinud Tiina Toomet. Tallinn.
Hodder, I. 20045. The archaeological process: an introduction. Malden, Blackwell.
P. Carelli, L. Hermanson & H. Sanders (eds.), Ett annat 1100-tal: Individ, kollektiv och kulturella mönster i medeltidens Danmark: 100–10. Centrum för Danmarksstudier 3. Makadam, Göteborg.
Ringstedt, N. 1992. Household Economy and Archaeology: Some Aspects of Theory and Applications. Stockholm Studies in Archaeology 12. Stockholm University, Stockholm.
Mägi, M. 2002. At the Crossroads of Space and Time. Graves, Changing Society and Ideology on Saaremaa;
Eesti Arheoloogiaajakiri;
Mägi, M. 2015. Rafala. Idateest ja Tallinna algusest. Argo, Tallinn.
Muinasaja Teaduse seerias ilmunud raamatud;
Mandel, M. 2003. Läänemaa 5.–13. sajandi kalmed. Eesti Ajaloomuuseum. Töid ajaloo alalt, 5. Tallinn
Mugurēvičs, Ē., Vasks, A. (eds) Latvijas senākā vēsture 9. g. t. pr. Kr. – 1200. g. Rīga: Latvijas vēstures institūta apgāds, 290-377.
Auslander, L. 2005. Beyond Words. – American Historical Review, October. 1015-1045.
AHR Conversation: Historians and the Study of Material Culture. 2009 – American Historical Review. December, 1355-1404